[va-richmond-general] Re: Highland County

  • From: "Jim Blowers" <jimvb@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <va-richmond-general@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 26 May 2005 07:34:04 -0400

It seems to me that solar is the ultimate renewable resource, since
solar energy has become much of the other energy on this planet (e.g.,
oil, coal), and since the Sun will last for billions of years. Let's
take a look at the solar situation.

The site http://www.electricityforum.com/news/feb03/ohiosolar.html
mentions a project involving 5,000 square feet that will generate 30
kilowatts of electricity. Since the US consumes 3510 gigawatts, it
consumes 117,000,000 times as much as this project. So it will require
585 billion square feet of panels, or 20,984 square miles, an area
almost as big as West Virginia. So this requires a LOT of solar paneling
that will cover a substantial part of our land. But we don't seem to
object to our road network, which covers 30,000 square miles, and this
does not include parking lots and garages. So, like wind, this is
doable, but it is a big project.

I think we need both solar AND wind, plus some other forms of energy, in
the years ahead, but it is not going to be easy, no matter how we do it.

Jim Blowers

-----Original Message-----
From: va-richmond-general-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:va-richmond-general-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Nelda
Snyder
Sent: Wednesday, 2005 May 25 23:48
To: va-richmond-general@xxxxxxxxxxxxx; va-richmond-general@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [va-richmond-general] Re: Highland County




It's all too technical for me, BUT doesn't it seem simpler and better
and cleaner and less obtrusive to put a lion's share of our assets into
solar improvemant and research?

Nelda Snyder


> [Original Message]
> From: Jim Blowers <jimvb@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> To: <va-richmond-general@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Date: 5/25/2005 11:43:00 PM
> Subject: [va-richmond-general] Re: Highland County
>
> Thanks for the information, Chris. I just did some figuring. The US 
> has 3.7 million square miles and consumes 105 quadrillion btu of 
> energy each year with its power grid. That is 3510 gigawatt-years per 
> year or 3510 gigawatts. Each 400-foot tower generates 2 megawatts. 
> This means that if all our electricity was from wind, we would need 
> 1.7 million towers, or one each 2 square miles. They may seem ugly, 
> but so are aerial power lines and cell phone towers - could cell phone

> companies use wind turbines for their transmitters? And not all our 
> energy is going to come from wind, anyway. But 2 square miles is about

> the size of a large development - how about a law requiring that each 
> new development of a certain size build a wind turbine to provide 
> electricity for it? That would stop developments dead in their tracks 
> and preserve a lot of bird habitats!
>
> You say energy requirements are going to grow, but they can't grow 
> beyond a certain limit. We would eventually run out, even if all of 
> our energy sources were renewable. Corporations need to get growth out

> of their mindsets. The ultimate growth rate is zero.
>
> By the way, NIMBY is "not in my backyard". In other words, we need 
> renewable energy such as wind, but not in my back yard, not in Hal's 
> back yard, not in Sally's, not in Mark's, not in Jim's, and so forth 
> and so forth. So where do we put it? On the moon?
>
> Jim Blowers
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: va-richmond-general-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> [mailto:va-richmond-general-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Chris 
> Terrell
> Sent: Wednesday, 2005 May 25 22:35
> To: va-richmond-general@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: [va-richmond-general] Re: Highland County
>
>
> Denmark gets a full quarter of their electricity from wind turbines. 
> While Virginia can never hope to reach that number (due to the fact 
> that we don't have enough sustained high-wind resources like the 
> Skaggerak
> offers) wind power is a viable _supplement_ to our power grid.
>
> I can't speak for Highland County, but my this sounds like NIMBY if I 
> have ever heard it.
>
> We are an industrial society, there's no escaping that.  If you 
> visited Highland County to protest the wind turbines you almost 
> certainly drove there.  If you are reading this message you are 
> getting your power from somewhere.  Perhaps a coal fired plant, 
> perhaps nuclear.  When you go to work tomorrow you will consume energy

> on the way there, while there, and on the way home.  And then you'll 
> consume some more.
>
> The point is it matters not how green you are in your politics, the 
> simple truth of the matter is we first-world humans consume a lot of 
> energy and our energy requirements are both real and growing.  I agree

> completely with Irene that the population is entirely too large, but 
> unless one wishes to both shut the borders and enforce a reduced 
> population (not very American
> ideals) the energy needs for the state of Virginia will continue to 
> grow for the foreseeable future.  That's a reality that WILL be dealt 
> with in one way or another.
>
> The question becomes then, how to provide this energy?  And I'm here 
> to say if you want a quick and flip answer, forget it.  There are no 
> easy solutions.
>
> Nuclear?  The obvious Chernobyl factor - even more NIMBY Coal?  
> Cleaner than before, hardly clean Hydro?  Clean but already mostly 
> tapped, and many greens aren't terribly fond of it either Oil?  We 
> import 51% of our oil already, and the supplies are finite Ethanol - 
> Bio-diesel?  Hard to produce in sufficient quantities, and produces 
> it's own pollution via agricultural pollution. Solar?  Years away, and

> expensive to develop and deploy. Wind?  Limited resources, some 
> consider an eyesore (but power lines are just fine for some reason)
>
> Bottom line, hard choices have to be made.  It's very easy to grouse 
> about what's wrong and pawn our energy needs off on somebody else, 
> it's a whole lot harder to offer a VIABLE solution.
>
> Thanks for the info Jim.  Some of us on this list are with you.
>
> Chris Terrell
> Chesterfield County
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: va-richmond-general-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> [mailto:va-richmond-general-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]On Behalf Of 
> Heron329@xxxxxxx
> Sent: Wednesday, May 25, 2005 1:42 PM
> To: va-richmond-general@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: [va-richmond-general] Re: Highland County
>
>
> You would have to cover the entire state in wind turbines to replace 
> the coal fired plants. and that still wouldn't do it.  It is an 
> absolutely ridiculous notion that wind turbines could produce enough 
> electricity to replace even one coal fired plant.  And the idea that 
> only 4 birds would be killed per turbine, how does anyone know that?  
> When I was in Highland County earlier this spring, there were 
> thousands of migrating birds flying high enough to run into the blades

> of the turbines.  There were over 4000 bats killed at one turbine site

> last summer. Margaret O'Bryan
>
>
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